Friday, December 28, 2007

billieeeeee...

The Divine Ms. Billie Holliday... ain't words for her... *sigh*

yeah yeah yeah.. i know, i'm on a youtube binge. it happens :)

intrepidfrog toodles about...

..and finds more goodies. First up, this BBC series recommended by a friend is a hoot... "The Mighty Boosh" I ordered the first and second complete series on DVD from Amazon.uk and UPS has lost it. boo hissss!

On another note: Norah Jones, so young and yet so... well, nice to listen too.


and what the heck, throw Patti Page in the mix too, because she was awesome:

Half Man Half Biscuit

just conspiracy theory or...

...something to think about, perhaps?
A friend sent me this link over the holidaze...it's a 2-hour movie, fascinating.
ZeitGeist

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

The secret to true happiness in life... peace and footie pajamas for everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Maria had a god-daughter


DSCN9331
Originally uploaded by Michael-Ann.

From the last sentence of this (partially translated) entry i think it is safe to say that Maria had a god-daughter.

Translation in progress:

From: Liri (Siri?) March 20, 1893

Om en gång på våsans (våren?) stig ,
Du finner en fösgätej mig ,
Så bry t den af och läs i den ,
En hjert lig helsnig från din lilla gud dotter ,
Siri

If once on our path ,
Yous find a fösgätej me ,
So care/mind/worry that the af and read in the ,
A hjertlig full page from your small god daughter ,
L(S?)iri

City of Berlin



The CITY OF BERLIN was a 5,491 gross ton ship, length 488.6ft x beam 44.2ft, clipper stem, one funnel, three masts (rigged for sail), iron construction, single screw and a service speed of 15 knots.

There was accommodation for 170-1st, 100-2nd and 1,500-3rd class passengers.

Her maiden voyage started on 29th Apr.1875 when she sailed from Liverpool for Queenstown (Cobh) and New York.

She made several record passages, her best being 7days 15hrs 28mins between Sandy Hook and Queenstown at an average speed of 15.37 knots. In 1879 she was fitted with the first interior electric light on the North Atlantic, with four lamps in the cabin class saloon and two in steerage. Re-engined with triple-expansion engines in 1887 and the accommodation rebuilt with electric light throughout.

Was damaged by fire at San Francisco in Jan.1906 and was scrapped in 1921.[North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.1,p.243]

It seems this is the ship Gustaf Belin first came to America on in 1892. He must have sailed to the Port of Hull in Liverpool from Sweden, then on to NY.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oscar II


This ship had it's maiden voyage in 1901. Sailing between Sweden and New York, it most likely wasn't the ship that brought Gustaf Emile and Maria to the Americas originally, however, was certainly the ship they sailed on during all their subsequent trips there and back.

A wealth of information about the Oscar II can be found on this website:
NorwayHeritage.com

In 1915 the Oscar II was commandeered by Henry Ford for his peace pilgrimage to Europe. Which brought about a reaction from President Wilson. Articles printed in the NY Times are available to see:

Ford Gets His Ship

Peace Ship Jarred by Wilson Message

Maria Belin's Autograph album 1892-1895


My sister was kind enough to give me this album along with some photos that my Dad was going to throw away. The last two days i have spent taking digital pics of each page of the album and of the other photos as well. I now have them online and hope that one day will be able to decipher the words written throughout.

I started trying to do some translating with the use of two online translators, first starting with on which allows me to translate full passages. Then using another one that does single words and seems to have a more thorough translation capability.

If anything, i have been able to get a "feel" of what some of those entries were about.

One thing i am almost certain of is that my great-grandmother's maiden name was most likely "Sahlberg", possibly "Svahn" - its a theory based on the number of entries with those two sirnames.

The entire album can be seen on Flickr.com:
Maria's album

Monday, December 17, 2007

Descendants of Emil Belin

A friend whom i met online (who has access to census databases) volunteered to see what he could find regarding my long given up search for information about my family tree. Within a few hours this is what he found:

Descendants of Emil Belin

Generation No. 1

1. EMIL BELIN was born Oct 1867 in Sweden, and died Bet. 1910 - 1920 in New York. He married MARIA E. UNKNOWN 1898. She was born Feb 1872 in Sweden, and died Bet. 1920 - 1930 in New York.

Notes for EMIL BELIN:
In 1904 Emil, Maria, and Herbert returned to Brooklyn from trip back to Sweden ( ? ). Boat was the Oscar II and sailed from Christiana, Copenhagen, Denmark September 22, 1904 arriving in New York October 3, 1904.

More About EMIL BELIN:
Immigration: 1892, New York
Occupation: 1900, Cabinet Maker
Residence: 1900, 129 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Notes for MARIA E. UNKNOWN:
Per 1910 Census:
David S. Belin listed as son. Does not appear to be correct, he is shown to have immigrated in 1903 in Pa.

Boarders:
Caroline Lindbergh 26
Paul W Osterberg 28
John F Osterberg 26
Carl Lindbergh 23
George Bergstrom 21

Per 1920 Census:
Widow, both parents born in Sweden.

Cousins Maria Edlund ( 33 ) and her daughter ( 2 1/2 ) were residing there. Works as maid in boarding house.

More About MARIA E. UNKNOWN:
Immigration: 1894, New York
Naturalization: Bef. 1920
Occupation: 1920, Runs Boarding House
Residence: 1920, 1410 St. Marks Avenue, Brooklyn, Ward 9, Kings County, New York


Children of EMIL BELIN and MARIA UNKNOWN are:

i. HERBERT ALAN BELIN, b. 09 Jun 1903, New York; do. 18 Aug 1964.
Notes for HERBERT ALAN BELIN:
Middle initial wrongly listed as 'J' in 1910 Census.
Name: Herbert Alan Belin
Service Info.: LTC US ARMY WORLD WAR II
Birth Date: 9 Jun 1903
Death Date: 18 Aug 1964
Service Start Date: 7 Nov 1942
Interment Date: 21 Aug 1964
Cemetery: Beverly National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 916 Bridgeboro Road Bridgeboro Road Beverly, NJ 08010
Buried At: Section Y Site 2111

More About HERBERT ALAN BELIN:
Burial: 21 Aug 1964, Beverly National Cemetery, 916 Bridgeboro Road Bridgeboro Road Beverly, NJ 08010, Section Y Site 2111
Military service: 07 Nov 1942, Us Army
Occupation: 1930, Telephone Repairman
Residence: 1930, Lodging house owned by Hilda Peacock, Talley Road, Montclair, NJ

ii. UNKNOWN BELIN, b. Bet. 1901 - 1910; d. Bef. 1910.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Noofin new really

did recently learn about the group "Grizzly Bear" out of Brooklyn, NY - really like them. If you get a chance pick up their album "Yellow House" it makes for a nice evening listen when you are in the mood to go places in your head.

Here's a vid from the album (my favorite song on it actually)...Hope everyone is doing peachy :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Via Colori

Saturday was great... arrived at my square a little after nine and started to work. I was one of a few artists who happened to wind up working under one of the giant old live oaks just off the street - so when it started to drizzle a little i could continue working.

Managed to get most of my work done before i left for the day... then the rains came and washed most of everything away. Was a little sad to wander around with other artists Sunday looking at all the work that was washed away over night.

Since the festival was officially canceled the police officers would NOT let any of us draw (and we wanted to!) even though the street was still blocked off.

Here's a pic from about an estimated 3 hours prior to completion.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Via Colori is this weekend...

Two days of crawling arting on the streets of Houston to raise money for the Center for Hearing and Speech. I am looking forward to this quite a bit....hoping it will mean an end to my dry spell with creating. Thinking i will do another Mona... as i have many to go before reaching my goal of 100. Here's a quickie thrown together digital of something along the lines of what i think i will try.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

Society is a masked ball,
where everyone hides his real character,
and reveals it by hiding.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

still kicking

Drug Danielle out of the house and went to hang with my family for a few days :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

sculpture: Ron Mueck




These lifelike sculptures have to be the most amazing art i have seen in awhile... Do a google for Ron Mueck and have a look!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

on happiness

The problem isn't materialism as such. Rather it is the underlying assumption that full satisfaction can arise from gratifying the senses alone. Unlike animals whose quest for happiness is restricted to survival and to the immediate gratification of sensory desires, we human beings have the capacity to experience happiness at a deeper level which, when achieved, can overwhelm unhappy experiences.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

a thought...

one half of my children's childhood was spent living in conditions that would be considered by most as "camping out." Half of the remaining portion was spent actually camping out, while the balance was spent just wishing we were.

what compelled me to say this - well, i was just thinking how fun it would be to go camping.

bits o' wisdom from the severly unqualified

mikie say:
to remain in a perpetual state of contemplation results in reposing prose.

Howdy ya'll! as you may have noticed (or not) i have not had a whole lot of anything notable in quite some time... honestly, i still don't, but am feeling like a real slacker not saying anything at all - i mean really, how much effort DOES it take to come up with SOMETHING?

anything.

Whats going on in my life? hmmmm... not a lot. On the other hand, G-Spot got himself a new recumbent bicycle, loves it, and will be riding it this weekend in one of Texas' biggest bicycle events - the "Hotter'N Hell Hundred" out in Wichita Falls.

i'll be staying home with the critters.

i REALLY need to get my "groove" back and do some painting... or something creative. Yesterday, received an email that the Lawndale Art Center has the tins available for creating retablos for their Dia de los Muertos event. Even with only one tin allowed per artist, the tins go quickly. Would like to try to make it down there to pick one up sometime this week during my lunch break. Maybe, just MAYBE if i actually get a tin and sit long enough staring at it, communing with it, i will suddenly become so incredibly inspired as to break this 6-month shit-funk i have been in.

Maybe it is time for me to try another medium, or another subject? hmmmm... maybe i just need to dye my hair.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

works fer me!


This morning i stumbled into Lady Terri's place and found this image...which so nicely sums up my feelings about Bush i had to steal it from her site, run back here as quickly as i could and post it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

Success!

around 2:15 i said a prayer.... "please let this be the night she shows up for him."

as i sat in the dark waiting, listening to his pitiful chatters and calls... suddenly he became very loud and the chatters sped up into a frenzied fit... i slowly made my way over closer to the cage he was in and sure enough, there on the other side of the cage was the momma trying to figure out how to get to him.

As i cautiously approached, she backed off just enough to let me open the cage door, i could hear her making that quiet deep call that i can only describe as a sort of "boom" - a moment later baby found the open door and they were reunited! Momma wasted no time turning around and heading away with her kid. I sat and listened as they made their way off into the darkness... i could hear the little guys chatter trailing off into the night.

That was at 3:30 in the morning... I drank a whole pot of coffee since 1 am... i was afraid i would fall asleep and miss the window of opportunity to open the cage. Needless to say I am completely wired and fried. I wish I could have taken pictures but really did not want to add stress to the situation... ah well, I had a great view and let me tell you it felt good seeing them together.

Oh! and she did not have the rest of the kids with her... or at least not close to her in my line of sight... I'm guessing she has them tucked away in their new home... i sure hope it is not someone else's wall or attic.

I am sooooo relieved... tending to the demands of a baby raccoon really is exhausting - I don't see how on earth a momma raccoon can deal with the average litter of three at a time.

Well... i'm off fer now...Good night!

argh

almost 1 in the morning... I just saw a raccoon outside, but I don't think it was the momma as she did not have the other two babies with her. this might be a long night.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

second night is a strike out

I sat outside in the dark with Baby until midnight. I intentionally did not feed him hoping his hungry calls would help attract his family... Even still he was much quieter tonight than he was last night. The mosquitos were of course terrible and when i checked in on Baby at midnight noticed there was quite a cloud of mosquitoes that had collected in his carrier.

I decided to bring him in and feed him, and put him in a clean carrier. He ate really well. I am bothered at how quickly he has adapted to me... he calls to me, and when he is out of the cage will follow me where ever i walk. I am trying hard not to interact too much with him.

Throughout the rest of last night rather than subject Baby to the mosquitoes (and myself for that matter) I would get up every couple of hours looking for signs of his family eating... no signs at 2am, nothing at 3:00, and then nothing at 5am. But I noticed that they had definitely been there because all the food was now gone and I could see where momma had been washing her food.

So, one last feeding for Baby this morning before i tucked him back into his carrier for the day while i am at work. I have renewed hope that tonight will be the night he is reunited. My plan is to set the alarm for 3:00 and stay outside waiting for the family.

Some side thoughts and concerns:

1) I have learned that raccoons are commonly the host carrier to a large (5-8") round worm that lives happily in the racoons intestines. This round worm can be passed to other animals and to humans. The bad thing is that in hosts other than raccoons, the worm will become "confused" and instead of going to the intestines, will go to either the brain or eyes... Gross! I have been diligently washing and changing my clothes everytime I have to handle him as the whole brain-eating worm thing really freaks me out.

2) It is not true that a momma bird will refuse to take a baby back if it has the scent of human on it... but with the extremely keen sense of smell that racoons have, I am worried if the momma will recognize him as her own and take him back... god i hope so.

--UPDATE--

After speaking with local wildlife rehabbers I was assured that the mother would not reject the baby even with his new and strange smells attached.

Since I blogged about this whole incident, I feel a sense of responsibility to whom ever might read this. In most all cases when it comes to rescuing wildlife you should generally not attempt to feed babies. 99% of the time there are techniques and diet considerations that HAVE got to be used, if someone meaning well attempts to feed or give water to a baby that does not know these dietary needs or techniques in feeding they will kill the baby. The factors that I considered with deciding to do this were the following:

1) The baby had not eaten in three days.
2) Despite the lack of food for three days the baby appeared healthy (as did the rest of the family when we saw them after 2 days of being trapped in the wall.)
3) The baby was old enough to go to the bathroom without my assistance, he was also clearly old enough that he had enough of the mechanics of eating to compensate for my being an amateur.
4) I have some past experience with wildlife rehab, have watched experienced-rehabbers feed baby mammals, and read up on the techniques and diet of raccoons.

The reasons I did not simply place the baby in a carrier and contact a rehabber were:
1) I was positive i could follow the protocol for feeding and care as well as provide a quiet, dark, safe place away from other animals.
2) I was certain the mother was returning to the area and reuniting the family results in better success than ANY rehab situation.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Critters in the Wall


For two days we stayed up all night being serenaded by a family of racoons having a party in the walls of our house... we cut numerous holes, the noise we made creating the holes ultimately frightened two baby racoons back to the spot they entered the house from - where they were able to hook up with mom and leave. That was on Monday... soon after we realized another unfortunate baby had managed to get himself caught in a very bad spot that he could not get out of and after cutting more holes in the wall we were finally able to extract him yesterday evening after work.

It was my hope that last night we could reunite him with his family when they showed up looking for food, but the family never showed. I stayed out in the dark about 15 feet away from the pup who was in a pet carrier. I just sat quietly, sipping my wine, waiting for signs of the family as I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. The little racoon managed to escape from the carrier about 2 hours into our vigil... I cautiously approached him thinking he would not take kindly to my being close to him intending to get him back in the carrier, but instead he scrambled up my leg and clung to my shirt making begging noises.

We know interaction should be avoided, however, this little fellow had not eaten or drank anything for three days. Ultimately we wound up bottle feeding it kitten formula as he showed no interest in food placed in a dish. After about two attempts with a bottle he figured out the strange new process.

Tonight I will sit up with him again... surely the mother will be back tonight to raid the cat food.

Monday, August 06, 2007

a good day to start posting again

it was this day, 25 years ago that a miracle happened in my life. My faith in a greater something was ressurrected and i was overwhelmed with a love i had never known before... this was the day that i held my first-born daughter, Chelsea, in my arms... fresh outta the womb indeed!

Adventuresome, sunshine, laughing, gentle, lil' momma, earth-mother, hamster- Chelseawinnmyffs... Happy Birthday Hon!

Without a doubt, my children have been my salvation... infinite smiles and laughter, unconditional love, learning how important it is to honestly represent yourself in the eyes of your children and as a result finding out i was actually a good person, and the triumphant discovery of personal strengths I had not realized i had in me before - as I could not allow them to see me fail or have them go hungry as a result of my inability.

that isn't to say that while growing up my kiddos did not have do deal with a lot of difficulty as a direct result of being my children... but we managed to make it together... and such marvelous adults they have become!

25 years ago today I received the first of many wonderful gifts in my life, i am so grateful! I love you so much.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

i hate doctors

--Last Friday--
Dr. So-and-So: let see, the last time i saw you was... in 2005?! How come you don't see me more often?
me: I hate doctors.

Dr. s-n-s: all you people get a rash you think it is so weird.
me: ummm, well considering I have had two in my life, this one and chicken pox at 7.. it IS a little weird for me.

Dr. s-n-s: We will take your blood and see what that turns up, we should get the results Monday.

--yesterday, (Monday)--
i call Dr. so-n-so's office @ 11:30am... no results, call back after lunch.
i call again @2:30pm... can't give results over the phone, must make appointment
make an appointment for tomorrow, Tues.

--today, (Tuesday)--
Dr. s-n-s: your blood test results indicate you have been fighting with a virus (no shit?!!) most likely measles--> but then the good dr. proceeds to tell me my white blood cell status COULD be an indicator of HIV.

WHAT?!! how is that the first alternative to measles that came to your mind doc??

He wants me back in two weeks for follow-up blood work. he follows me down the hallway toward the payout desk asking me if i would consider myself to be in a high-risk category.... ummm.. no i says, not to the best of my recollection...but to be on the safe-side i will double-check with the hubby on his last 10 years of multiple sex-partnering and IV drug use.

Happily, I am on the uphill side of this fever-rash thing... the rash is disappearing and I am feeling much more energetic.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

argh

going on day three of a strange flu-like bug. main symptoms are fever and aches, and no energy at all... I have a few lumps in the glands of my neck... my neck, shoulders, and spine are the worst... Monday when it all started I thought perhaps I was suffering from a wine-induced hang-over... but the fever part was a little odd.

I feel a little better today, still have a bit of a fever so best to stay home and not subject anyone to my germs.

Monday, July 16, 2007

weekend


this weekend was a quiet one with the exception of some hellaceous storms that blew through... my weekend was primarily full of animal-need tending and laundry, as G went on a 100-mile run out in the Katy Prairie area. The pic above is from another bike run G went on, but i like it so much I had to post it here.

Sunday, after 3 tries G Jr. was finally able to get a phone connection that allowed him to hear me and know I was on the line with him.. the phone connections are so bad for the most part Big G and I just try to just listen to him talk when he calls.

His base had just come off a "Black Out" this is a term the military uses to describe shutting down all outside access from the camp. Doing so enables the military to officially notify families of the deaths of their children before the family happens to hear about it through "gossip."

The camp had been attacked by mortar rounds. The tent next to G's was wiped out, many were injured, a few were killed. Mortar hit about 50 feet in front of the truck G was in... thank fully he was protected. G talked a lot about the sounds of the incoming mortar and the amount of shrapnel that gets scattered about by them.

G is supposed to get to come home for R&R in October... we are looking forward to having him home.

all day yesterday was a dark cloud - literally and emotionally.

Around 6pm or so, enough of the clouds had lifted that the sun was coming through...everything outside was awash with a beautiful golden light... and shafts of golden-yellow light shone through the windows on the west side of the house... looking outside, the wet foliage looked especially green and alive.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Doll Face

You have got to go look at the video posted on ArtNewsBlog

Hootie Support


Late-night-bleary-eyed tech-support angel helping hopeless and quite unhappy iPhone users... me thinks it must be a genetic pre-disposition to saying "hello, this is "--", how may I help you today?"

about that fence...

Construction of border fence may jeopardize unique Rio Grande wildlife habitat "A magical place" for eco-tourists, but a target for Homeland Security...
By Juan Castillo, AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

a moment from history :)



The year is 1989, and it is a beautiful sunny day (15th of July)... They had finished the section of Beltway 8 near I-10/Gessner in Houston, TX... In celebration, a concert was given on the Beltway (before it was opened to traffic obviously :) and I drug my two young daughters there to hear the band who's hit song caused them both to walk and dance like Egyptians for months on end... The Bangles.

I wonder if my girls remember the first concert/road party they ever attended?

rainy saturday didn't even stop us

Saturday, Yale Street Arts Market in the Heights and M2 Gallery were packed despite the nasty weather. Gordy's pics to follow...

The most lovely attendee at the Yale Street Market - Michelle


Duke and entourage jamming in the rain


someone who hasn't got the sense to get out of the rain


Artist Jeff Woodruff & moi


Catching up with Michael at M2 during the Light Show

Friday, June 29, 2007

oh no

lyrics time again. Besides I desperately need to bump the other post off the top of this page.

Listening to Gogol Bordello's album "Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike" - which is REALLY a VERY good album... not to mention Eugene Hutz is just yummmmmm... or at least his perceived self. Some how I just know this band will NEVER make it to Houston TX.

"Oh No" Gogol Bordello

Sometimes when facing common trouble
When whole town is screwed
We become actually human
Act like Prometheus would
Suddenly there is more humor
And a party tabor style
People ringing one another
"Yo man, how was your blackout?"
Suddenly there is more music
Made with the buckets in the park
Girls are dancing with the flashlights
I got only one guitar!
And you see brothers and sisters
All engaged in sport of help
Making merry out of nothing
Like in refugee camp
Oh yeah Oh no, it doesn't have to be so
It is possible any time anywhere
Even without any dough
Oh yeah Oh no, it doesn't have to be so
Forces of the creative mind are unstoppable!
And you think, All right, now people
They have finally woked up
But as soon as the trouble over
Watch them take another nap
Nobody is making merry
Only trotting scared of boss
Everybody's making hurry
For some old forgotten cause
But one thing is surely eternal
It's condition of a man
Who don't know where he is going
Who don't know where does he stand
Who's dream power is corked bottle
Put away in dry dark place
Who's youth power is well buried
Under propaganda waves
Who's dream life is in opposition
With the life he leads today
Who's beaten down in believing
It just kinda goes this way!
Oh no, it doesn't have to be so
Forces of the creative mind are unstoppable!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

blech

I am sorry to be quiet... have been in a funk...started working on my cat "problem" and lets just say I have a lot of trouble dealing with this stuff...still when I think of having to euthanize I cry. I just can't deal with being the thing that connects these critters directly to their death.

I could not bring myself to take them to the SPCA where they would sit in some kennel scared shitless until abruptly being snatched up for their final procedure... so took them to a vet instead. He was very good...quick...kind... and he was very supportive of what I was doing.

I have another apointment on Friday for getting two females fixed and will continue slowly to take care of my out-of-control feral cat colony. I am ashamed it got this out of control, in my defense it happens quickly... blech.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

last night...

G-spot and I went to town for Erica's opening... i was and am very excited for Erica in this new venture, but i have to admit after all this time of checking myself out of the maintstream art world i was even more excited to see old friends. and indeed! it felt so good being with them.

Max looked great and was in the prime-form that only he can be in. Mitch, Carolyn, John, Carrie, and i took a little trek off the beaten-path to Max's gallery to look at a piece that Max had been working on... an ink drawing of a beautiful gnarly old tree with a sort of yin yang going on as the tree is intensely lined and dark on one side, moving to clean, simplified light on the other. In typical artist-fashion he was worried that the piece wasn't "working" - but it was and we all tried to convince him of the fact.

While I was in his gallery I wanted to see the latest show that was hanging and took to wandering around the gallery... there are some really great works in this one... I come to expect this at M2 as Max and Michael have a high-bar set for what goes on the walls.

I discovered that Max had one of my paintings hanging in the show, "Release" is the paintings name. Now, my words can not do justice to the feelings i went through seeing it hanging without knowing it would be there. Max is really a good friend and I feel we share some common threads that leave me knowing we share a love for each other.. and NOT in a romantic or sexual sense! And full-knowing Max could be capable of hastily hanging that painting as a gesture of friendship knowing i might be there to see it... I also know how important it is to Max to have a show hung right...with each piece properly flowing into the next. I have sat and watched him agonize over every single painting in a show for hours on end... and so it is with this knowlege that I was so touched by seeing my painting there hanging. I know he wanted it there, I know he believed in it and its relationship to the gallery as well as the paintings hanging along side it.

I am still blown away by this, I just don't know how I could truly thank him.

There were LOTS of real life hugs last night and it felt so good... in contrast, I hate hugs where two people barely touch - as if there is a thin layer of shit between them that they dare not get on each other and these sorts of hugs are always accompanied by nervous pats on the back... those were not the types of hugs that went around last night.... we held each other, smiled, laughed, closed our eyes, felt each other's warmth... it was so nice.

I had one-of-a-handful-to-date, great psychology-based conversations with Carrie. She is an energetic woman alive with electricity I swear... she is getting ready to do her internship in NY at Mt. Bellview and as I write this is probably standing on a curb in Long Island checking out over-priced apartments, as her plane was leaving at o-dark-thirty this morning for three days of touring the hood for housing.

When Carrie and I have a chance to talk it is always a very candid conversation... and why not? I happily volunteer myself for her free-services, and in some ways she does the same with me, which of course is quite flattering to me.

She told me before we parted for the night that she loves talking to me as she leaves learning something about herself every time.. I was floored by this compliment to the point of not knowing how to respond, nor was I able to reciprocate and tell her she always has the same effect on me.

There was of course much more to the evening...but I will refrain from going on and on and convincing you of my oddness.

Now back to cleaning a path through our house so that when my mother arrives tomorrow night to spend the night she won't have to mark out an obstacle course to find her sleeping place... cheers!

Friday, June 22, 2007

tonight

I was invited into another family as they lived and loved and said goodbye to Rachael, who is returning back to Westpoint at bright-thirty in the morning. So many dynamics, an intriguing family INDEED... i was charged with both Gordy and Amandas cameras for the evening.... looking through the lense makes it easy to remove ones'self from the emotions at hand and simply be the quiet observer.

pics on G's camera

Thursday, June 21, 2007

rainy thursday

pleasant rain drops, John Prine singing in my ear, smiles coming and going, new life breathing, old hearts still beating, female finch is hiding under the awning keeping out of the rain... HOWDY and CHEERS!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Nothing like a little bit of music...

... to usher ya through the day. Normally I don't listen to music at work because I have to keep an ear out for calls coming in...but today, screw it, I need some music! Got my headphones locked on and the music is bouncing around in my brain like a happy little ferret with a new toy. *grin*

Current tunes: Dream Baby (Roy Orbison), A Case of You (Joni Mitchell), Beautiful World (Colin Hay), We (The Roches), Down to Zero (Joan Armatrading), Free Fallin (Tom Petty) All of Rickie Lee Jones' album "Flying Cowboys" - oh man, I have always loved this album... digginonnit.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

hello world...


...this is me. with trepidation AND delight i offer this image up. It was taken by myself in the quiet of my alone-ness in a vain attempt at capturing a mood, a visual explaination, misguided self-definition, a search for something beautiful... I dunno.

I have tried for a Loooong time to be at peace with the source of this image.

and so it is that I would like to create a challenge to a few of the women whom I am so impressed with to do the same. I guess I am asking you to participate in a new meme... this one visual, no words... play with a camera and please if you feel compelled present an image of yourself that speaks of you in some autobiographical way.

TAG upon TAG upon TAG - you are it! :) Love you!

Jamie, Michelle, JaneDoughnut, Becky, Paisley

one of those things i do...

...when i need to interrupt my thought process and insert a new trajectory is google search for random fragments/phrases/questions and see what comes up.

today:

1. what if i had a banana for a right foot?
2. how many times can I do this?
3. lizards are benevolent.
4. languid pools of pudding

and then this one:
"furtive glances" which among other items, popped up an article written in Harvard University Press in 2000.

QUANTUM PHYSICS:
Furtive Glances Trigger Radioactive Decay

Charles Seife

Common sense says you can't keep an atom's nucleus from decaying simply by looking at it. Quantum mechanics says you can. Now two Israeli physicists have come up with a way in which watching a nucleus might make it decay faster.


You have to be a member to read the whole article... I don't care to read the whole thing, rather like the out of context places you can take this. The title is like some kind of poetry.

a good storm...

...not a GREAT storm, but a nice one has rolled in over us. A little bit of lightening and thunder is dancing around us at the moment here at work. What does this mean?

1. The temperature has dropped and is now closer to pleasant range.
2. I am wet, because I had to go stand in the rain.
3. Gordy WILL be wet as he is riding the motorcycle on his lunch break right now.
4. The tadpoles eeking out their existance in the dwindeling puddles of the hole I dug in the yard have just been given another day or so to perhaps make it to toad-ism.
5. The little sulphur butterfly that flitted haphazardly between raindrops passing me as I stood in the rain did not make it through the next parking lot, the rain downed it somewhere by a red Chevy malibu.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ha! Managed to convince...

...Gordy and Brandon of the awesome attributes of my super-power-boa for dispelling late-afternoon office buttlag.

ughhhhhh

This time of day, every day, every single part of my body is chanting "I want to go to sleeeeeeep."
but i put on my super-power-boa and galantly fight off the urge to cat nap

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

whenna da moon hits your eyeah likah...

bigga pizza pieah...

When the moon hits your eye
Like a big-a pizza pie
That's amore
When the world seems to shine
Like you've had too much wine
That's amore

Bells'll ring
Ting-a-ling-a-ling
Ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella"
Hearts'll play
Tippi-tippi-tay
Tippi-tippi-tay
Like a gay tarantella

When the stars make you drool
Joost-a like pasta fazool
That's amore
When you dance down the street
With a cloud at your feet, you're in love
When you walk in a dream
But you know you're not dreamin', signore
'Scusami, but you see
Back in old Napoli, that's amore

(When the moon hits your eye)
(Like a big-a pizza pie, that's amore)

That's amore

(When the world seems to shine
(Like you've had too much wine, that's amore)

That's amore

(Bells will ring)
(Ting-a-ling-a-ling)
(ting-a-ling-a-ling)
(And you'll sing "Vita bella")
(Vita bell-vita bella)
(Hearts will play)
(Tippi-tippi-tay, tippi-tippi-tay)
(Like a gay tarantella)

Lucky fella

When the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool
That's amore (that's amore)
When you dance down the street
With a cloud at your feet, you're in love
When you walk in a dream
But you know you're not dreaming, signore
'Scusami, but you see
Back in old Napoli, that's amore

The worst current manifestation of...

...my dysfunctionality is my inability to take these feral cats to the SPCA... I have a BIG problem with having to be the decisive element in what brings their lives to an end.

So, as a result, here is yet another tail in the never-ending saga of becoming the bonified cat lady of H-town Texas.

This one begins before all the damn cats showed up and I was still actively rehabbing wild birds. I received two pigeons at about the same time- one pigeon had been injured to the point of being unable to fly ever again. The other pigeon was perfect, but to his detriment, HE fell in love with HER and would not leave her side, always walked on the ground as near to her as he could get.

In a typical rehab situation a flightless bird, (especially a non-native flightless bird) would be euthanized unless it was one of educational value, like a raptor or an owl - or a threatened/endangered species.

Federal law does not protect rock doves (city pigeons) as they are non-native and considered an invasive species. I could have made stew of the bird had I wanted... instead I opted for having she and her mate bask in their love for each other.

Eventually, I built a birdhouse for them. I am no carpenter so it wasn't the finest piece of architecture by any means. I placed a ramp running up to the birdhouse so that the handicapped pigeon and her companion could easily come and go from the house. The two love birds lived there for quite some time until eventually the female met her inevitable flightless fate. The male hung around the house for a few days, but soon afterward took to flying about the tree tops, zipping in and out for a final day before the call of the wild pricked his little ear holes and he decided it was time to look for another love to fill his feathered void.

The tacky little birdhouse has been there, uninhabited for a couple years. The "ramp" is long gone, I believe it was recruited to fill in for some other wood during a hasty repair job on the porch.

Number One on the bench below the birdhouse


Remember Number One and Number Two? The two kittens left behind in my shed after their mother was hit in the street? Well, One and Two decided that they liked the old high-rise condo and moved in a couple weeks ago.
Number Two hanging on the porch


They sleep up there at night, hang out on the little "porch" and on the roof during the heat of the day, and as of this morning I discovered something else they did up there... argh.
Bless their pointed little heads.

Monday, June 11, 2007

This is just too cool NOT to post

Thank you Emily for sending the link :)

a long story about doing dishonest things (aka confession)

When I was 16, fresh from a year-long residency at the Hope Center Wilderness Camp for juvenile delinquents, not all the lessons I had learned at camp had quite settled in my brain yet and I managed to convince my mother who had pretty much given up on me, to allow me to go live in downtown Houston.

I went there to live with my girlfriend from camp... Not wanting to appear afraid of doing the job, I found myself working in a nude modeling studio at another persons suggestion. It was an awful job - full of perverts, deviates, drinking, and self-preservation via other mind-numbing substances.

I learned how to trick a lie-detector test that summer because vice came in and made all the models take tests to ensure that they were old enough to be working in such a place. It should come as no surprise, most of the girls were not... and yet we all passed the test... payoff or did we really fool the test?

It is at this place I met a customer (a man about mid-thirties who liked to see me tied up) who began to come in repeatedly to see me and claimed that he was falling in love with me and wanted to marry me. One day, while not at work I was walking with my girlfriend, and her OTHER girlfriend (of course I did not know at the time we were all sharing the pie) This customer pulled his car in front of us, cutting us off and saying that he had a surprise for me, he had gotten me a ring.

My first reaction was a little bit of fear at being tracked down in real life by a customer. But my two cohorts in crime quickly nudged me and encouraged me to go along, get the ring, later we could go to a pawn shop and sell it, and never see the man again.

We had a very bizarre mini-celebration at the Shakeys drive-in on Westheimer. He bought all three of us burgers and after all was said and done we had him drop us off at a fake location... said good bye... and then as soon as we could, made our way to a pawn shop. That was supposed to be the end of it - we were so sure of ourselves and our evil plan.

In trying to find me, This man, managed to find out my real name (models did not use their real names) - he also found out my mom's real name, her address, and phone number. He began to call her telling her he was worried because he was unable to locate his future bride. By the time I moved back home with mom, the man actually showed up with his two young children (YES! HE HAD KIDS) one night to introduce them to their new mother. Mom bravely faced him in the driveway, telling him that he was mistaken, I was much too young and that he should forget me and never call, write, or show up again.

I was so scared at seeing this man standing in our driveway that I wanted to run to a back window of the house, climb out, and run until I could go no further, but instead stood frozen in my place, watching mom silouetted by the headlights of the mans car which was still running and listening to her voice... and his voice, and watching as one of his small children (at his order) dashed to the front door of our house delivering an easter basket full of gifts for me. He did finally collect his children and leave.

For years this man sent me things in the mail, called, and stalked me. Two days after learning to drive a stick-shift I recieved a card in the mail that asked: "So Daisy, have you learned to shift gears yet?" and went on to say that he looked forward to the day when we would be together eternally in heaven. I received many cards like this over the years. He often mentioned things I was doing and the belief that we would meet up on some mountain where there, we would become eternally bound.

By the time I had my first daughter, he was still writing, sending packages, calling me at odd hours when my husband would be working the grave yard shift. One night he called back at least a half-dozen times, I broke down in fear for my new baby suffering some terrible fate at the hands of a crazy man all because of my dishonest act as a 16 year old and begged the man to stop calling me.

At one point as soon as I hung up, I called the police. The whole scenario did not lend itself to any sort of empathy on behalf of the policeman I spoke with - and rightly so, in many ways I deserved this... but I knew my baby did not, and if anything happened to her it would have been a horrible thing. Back then, there were no stalker laws, there was nothing you could do about the calls, about the cards, or packages. Even though the officer agreed the words used by the man were creepy - unless the man came right out and said "I am going to kill you" There was absolutely nothing the law could do to stop it and suggested I simply keep my phone off the hook when not wanting to receive calls.

My husband, daughter, and I moved from that house. More years went by and Mom continued to receive things addressed to me in the mail from the man. He did not conceal his identity so mom managed to track him down. She contacted HIS parents and told them of all the things their son had done over the years and asked them to do everything in their power to discourage and stop their son.

That was about the time the calls, cards, etc. stopped.

Why on EARTH did I write this? Well, it is something (one of the things) I did that I have forever felt guilty about (taking that ring and selling it) - but also because I can see that someone from the town of his last residence (that I know of) has started coming to this website - repeatedly. I can't help but say that seeing this in the stats sent an alarm off.

At the extremely bizarre chance this visitor could be that man (you and I both know who you are) I apologize to you for my selfish actions as a fucked up teenager, and would like to reimburse you for that ring.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

How To (or NOT) Write a Users Manual

AAAaaaaRRRgggHHHhhhh... There! Had to get that out of my system.

When I am not pretending to be an artist I work for a software company. The job helps me to afford pretending to be an artist after 5pm M-F and on most weekends.

The last couple of weeks I have been in charge of re-writing/designing the updated users manual for the software product the company sells. So in between tech-support calls, marketing pieces, trade-show signage, new product design discussions, and picking my nose I have been locked away in my cubicle trying to write the manual. This is no easy task for me!

I take this documention very seriously. To me, the users manual is your one real chance outside the software itself to prove to a befuddled user that YES infact, the software IS easy to use.

Finding the balance between instructions that are clear and concise, giving the user enough information so as to understand what the heck it is all about, and structuring it in such a way that it visually not too overwhelming, is a fine act to pull off.

Don't get me wrong - what ever I finish will be far from complete. Anyone who has read my blog entries knows my spelling and grammar is *eh-hem* somewhat lacking. After me, the document will go to our Master of the English language for a manicure.

The point of this entry is what? Well, just that I needed to say: Man will I be glad when I'm done with this thing!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

word of the day @ Merriam-Webster

wetware • \WET-wair\ • noun
: the human brain or a human being considered especially with respect to human logical and computational capabilities

Example Sentence:
With the right wetware at the helm, the company should be able to turn a sizeable profit.

Did you know?
When the computer terms "software" and "hardware" sprang to life in the mid-20th century, a surge of visions and inventions using the new technology immediately followed . . . along with a revival of the combining form "ware." An early coinage was "wetware," which began circuiting techie circles in the 1970s as a name for the software installed by Mother Nature (a.k.a. the brain). Other "ware" names for people and their noggins have made a blip in our language -- for example, "meatware" and "liveware" -- but none have become firmly established in the general lexicon like "wetware."
-------------

Hey! I never heard this before... been around 'puters for 20 freakin years... I should really pay more attention.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

...

In contrast to how happy G-string and I are that we got to hear G's voice in the form of a shitty phone connection last night, we received this email moments ago about another young man in G's Brigade who's parents will not have the same luxury ever again. I have removed details specific to their troop and location just because it seems like I should.

"On the 29th of May I was notified by LTC *** (Infantry Division Rear-Detachment Commander) that our Brigade has suffered the loss of one our soldiers from ***. The nature of the loss is currently under investigation. The next of kin of our fallen soldier has been notified. I ask you for your prayers for this soldier and family."

I wonder how many families have felt the pain of being notified... when will this end?

Dear Jane,


In a show of friendly support and encouragement I would like to offer you this picture I took today of the butt-can at work. Might help strengthen your conviction to stop smoking if you use it as a desktop image.

May the force be with you!

Love,
Michael-Ann

tap tap tap...

After a terrible fall down the stairs leading from my hiding-hole in the house to the rest of the storage container we call home... I have FINALLY remembered who I am and where my blog is. Being that I am almost fully recovered from my accident, I thought I might just drop in and leave some hint of myself scrawled here on the cyber pages of what has turned into a rather freaking boring and uneventful chronicle of dysfunctionality.

Hi.

Okay, I admit it, I did not really fall down the stairs, I just made that up.

Only days after the Finch Family began their nest and my little world became filled with the hope and promise of new life I showed up at work last Monday (much to everyones disappointment, but with my hair brushed) and discovered the nest had been raided... one egg had been tossed out and lay smattered on the ground below. Dried up egg-guts baked on the cement slab and another egg precariously sticking out of the ransacked twigs of the nest waiting to meet the same fate of its fallen clutchmate were visual cues indicating something horrible had gone down. A couple House Sparrows in the vicinity seemed to be the likely culprits... those bastards!

No sign of the Finch Family. I wonder if they moved on to nest-building elsewhere together or upon finding their pillaged nest if they didn't just stop and look at each other in disgust - deciding they should divorce and find a more suitable member of the gene pool who could build a safer place to raise a family.

I miss the bubbling sound of the finch chatter.

The nest remains as a silent memorial... I am sure all the birds involved are not dwelling on the incident, they have moved on going about the business that birds must do by design. I am the only idiot left mourning the loss.

So with the exception of the vandalized nest, the little fenced in cement and gravel smoking area has returned to its prior state of nothingness with one slash of life in the form of one sickly tree growing out of the bottom of the neighboring warehouse.


As you might guess, this tree has been a never-ending source of entertainment for me. I am easily entertained by just sitting and watching things - any things, I am not picky.

My ability to find hours of entertainment in what seems nothing to most observers was refined at a young age in the house at Poughkeepsie New York. One of my step-mothers favorite forms of punishment was to lock me in my room for indefinite amounts of time. Usually this punishment was mandated by my refusal to call her mother (or any derivative of the word that might indicate her having an actual maternal relationship to me)... her words were: "If you insist on not acting like part of our family, you will not be treated like part of the family." And so I spent many quiet hours in my room staring at the fantastic wood grain patterns of my paneled walls. I saw demons, angels, fairies, friends, creatures... you name it. They were all trapped floating with their frozen expressions, eternally encased in wood all around me. Many stories were fabricated about them in my imagination...and even though some of those faces were quite scairy, I was never afraid of them - I knew they could not get out of the wood.

I totally went on a tangent.

The point is, the stupid, sickly tree sprouting out of the slab has eeked out an existance for about 4 years now and has fascinated the hell out of me. I study it every chance I get. The tree is so covered in tiny white fuzzy aphids that the tree appears to be stuck in a perpetual snowing state. Tiny white puffs constantly drift away from it. The tree is covered in aphids and most of the leaves are curled up in protest of having its life-blood unwillingly sucked from its body.

A master gardener told me that plants in this state are mistakenly only treated for aphids - when really, the presence of so many insects is more an indicator that there are other more serious health problems with the plant. i.e. the great number of aphids are the warning alarm on mother nature's rectal thermometer. Aphids are opportunists, if there is a weak plant - they are ON it.


Any way, the tree has become a fully-fledged mini-ecosystem. Lady bugs by the gazillions have come to this tree to gorge on aphids, lay their eggs, pupate, whatever... you can find many different species of lady bugs in any stage of their life at any given time on the leaves and bark of this tree. Birds also come to pick their fill of all the tasty insects living on this dysfunctional tree, - even a nice network of ants has developed - here to milk what ants seem to think a treat - aphid juice.

Such a remarkable little world attached to this one tree! I love the tree, it makes me happy.

My boss knows I am a tree hugger and delights in getting my goat. Every time we happen to be outside on a smoke break together she always manages to find a way to wander over to the tree and mumble about how she needs to have THAT tree cut down. I know she will eventually, if not, the electrical company will because its branches are getting too close to the power lines, or maybe the folks who own the warehouse attached to the slab that the tree is sticking out of will cut the tree down.

Just like the Finch eggs, one day here, one day not, but this time a whole little world lies dangling by a thread.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

You have GOT to check this out!

http://www.samorost.net/ AND this too...
polyphonicspree

Made by Jakub Dvorský of Amanita Design

Artist of the Day!

Okay, so I am a LITTLE slow at times... many times, often times, ALLRIGHT! I admit it, MOST of the time. This morning I discovered that yours truly was listed as Artist of the day over on... well, on the "Artist of the Day" Blog.

COOL HUH?!

Thank you Artist of the Day Blog! In reciprocal, I would like to declare YOU the offical ART BLOG OF THE DAY :) Just goes to show you that flattery will get you most certainly on my blog...Cheers!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Friday


So this has been an uneventful week... with one exception - that exception based on the fact that I am easily entertained.

Last Friday a couple of House Finches finally decided to start building a nest under the roof of the outside covered smoking area at work. The feathered couple had been scoping the area out for some time arriving at different points of the day and chattering to each other all the while.

It was as if they were always quite seriously discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of building their new home in this location as opposed to others they may have scoped out.

But for what ever reasons they finally decided to pick our place. The grass and twigs started showing up last Friday and by Monday they had a rather righteous nest.

During my lunch break Monday I went to the local pet-supply store and purchased a finch feeder, some good seed, and a bird-bath. Knowing that other birds would be attracted to the food, I hung the feeder around the corner of the building to avoid having unwelcome visitors in close proximity to the nest.

It took our new avian neighbors no time at all to find the easy food source. In fact, by Wednesday, a second pair of House Finches showed up at the feeder. Between meals, the two couples hang out together on the electrical wires above exchanging ideas on such topics as nest building techniques, coping with fledglings, and the inevitable empty-nest syndrome. The two females generally spend more time socializing with each other compared to the two males.

On a completely different note, This week, just for the hell of it I tried an odd experiment. In the morning I took a shower (no THAT is not the experiment) and after towel-drying my self I didn't brush my hair out. I showed up at work with damp, tangled, uncombed hair and would not comb it out until around noon. No one noticed - or if they did, no one said anything. I'm not sure what the point of my experiment was, but the whole thing left me wondering.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Betchya dint think i wood :)

Okay... so when I am not so busy at work - or I just need a break from the flickering monotony on the computer screens that surround me at my desk... I go on treasure hunts...usually looking for some jewel in the form of a blog belonging to a fellow artist. Today I found a goody. I have NO idea who this fellow really is or where he lives, but I would guess it is somewhere urban.

I like MANY forms of art... as long as there is something visually appealing, some feeling that captivates, I am intrigued by what I would try to describe as graffiti-influenced art (as much as I like some graffiti - *grin*)

Perhaps it has something to do with the urban/graffiti/intense/whatever-you-call-it art seeming to embody the exact OPPOSITE of what a viewer of my art said to me having not ever seen me:

"How old are you?"

"Forty-three. Why do you ask?"

"Because your art looks like it was done by an old person."

The conversation went something like that.

Anyway, check out this person's stuff, he has a few blogs sporting his work... I bet he is young ;)

Here's some thingees I saw that I really dig:

Mind Control in his Illusions/SoulJacker blog.
Blue PRT #1 video short of odd-sillyness on his Release blog.

There was one of him and his wife "Forever" - or something like that, and a photo manipulation/montage using an image of his wife in a primarily blue-ish composition that I liked a lot too... but now I try to go back and find the dang images and they won't load for me. Oh well, you gotta go look around for yourself and see.

2007 Houston Art Car Parade

Yup, this past Saturday, G-string and i went... and it was another fine day put on by the folks at the Orange Show.
Clicking on the pic below will take you to G's Flickr.com photo-documenting-extravaganza from throughout the day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

arrrrgggghhhh day

-look at the clock-
voice in my head: crap, 2 hours and 10 minutes until 5 o'clock.
-wander to bathroom-
VIMH: heh, everyone thinks i'm taking a dump, but I'm REALLY just sitting here making faces at myself in the mirror across from the toilet.
-wash hands-
-trudge back to my desk-
-amble outside-
VIMH: i wonder if I have any wine left at the house after last night? crap.
-take a smoke break-
VIMH: need to quit one of these days.
-drag back to my desk-
VIMH: is today a payday or was that last week?
-look at the clock-
internal dialog: crap, 2 hours and 9 minutes until 5 o'clock.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Smart Car

Reserve YOURS today!!!!

Here's the one we reserved this morning.

Gads!

I still can't think of anything to say, accept...

I missed Michelle's birthday AND her invite call because I let my phone die for a week or so. MICHELLE! Happy Birthday doll! I miss you and I hope that you had a great day.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Jamie's work on the Colbert Report

My youngest daughter has been helping do some things for NJ's ex senator Bill Bradley (he is promoting his book: The New American Story) One of the odd tasks she has been challenged with was designing Mr. Bradley's version of Colbert's Americone ice cream for a prop.

Until the show She had no way of knowing if the prop would be used or not. We all sat around last night watching and in the last couple of seconds Mr. Bradley whipped it out! We all hooted and hollered when we saw the ice cream container... quite exciting.

G recorded the segment and uploaded it to YouTube:


p.s. Hey Jamie! I hope you had that plastic sheet covering the couch :)

So what does one send...

In their very first care package to a 19 year old in Iraq? We haven't heard from him yet and being that he is in a new camp we hear that his platoon is still roughing it... so can only assume that the list of possibilities is endless.

One guy who is ex-army here at work suggested getting some playing cards with naked gals, I was thinking about sending a bunch of those cardboard air freshners people hang from their rear-view mirrors, as I bet the boys are getting pretty rank. I already have a bunch of junk food to send - I'm not keen on contributing to the bad health of people, but hell can't be any worse for their health than sitting in the desert with a bunch of people all pointing guns at each other while sand fleas nip at their balls.

So here's the list of stuff so far:

1) Box of Ho Ho's
2) Bag o' Nutter Butter Cookies
3) Box of Brownies
4) Bag of Zapp's Hotter than Jalapeno Potato chips
5) Big thing of chocolate sprinkles (he LOVES sprinkles!)
6) A little wind up Monkey that plays with himself
7) A shot glass that says "I am having a nice day - don't f*ck it up."
8) Two decks of naked-chick playing cards (couldn't decide between "Mamasitas" or "Jenna Jameson")
9) A little sewing kit with a spool of desert camo-colored thread

I know, right about now you are thinking: GEEZ what a classy broad! s'okay though, if I can live with myself so can the rest of the world - Meh.

I am including a note in the box to him that says:

WTF?!! I miss you! Don't expect you to want all this crap - keep what you want, give it away, barter with it, hell stick it all up a camel's arse for all I care - just as long as it makes you smile. Love, me

Friday, April 27, 2007

FINALLY!

Just minutes ago we received an email from a Staff Sergeant in G Jr's platoon - we FINALLY have an address to send letters to him. They sent some more photos from the camp and many of the photos show groups of soldiers. Gordy and I examined each one trying to see a glimpse of G Jr... nada... oh well, it is okay because at LEAST we can start sending him stuff. We miss him so much! Gordy has the house phone roll over to his cell phone (which stays strapped to his belt 24/7) so that IF G Jr gets an opportunity to call we won't miss it.

While looking at the pictures that the SSG sent I noticed all the faces I could make out were those of grown MEN... I can't help but think how in contrast G Jr. looks so much like a boy- tall, skinny, quiet, not very social at all - his facial features very boyish. Even when we saw him at his graduation from boot camp, with his modified and more muscular physique - he STILL looked like a boy. He of course would NOT like to hear me say that. I wonder when we see him next will he appear like all those other weathered men?

Anyone who would like to write him, email me and I will send you the address, I'm not sure that it would be smart to post it right here in the blog. Please just know that he has not been able to spend much time writing back. My email is: michael [at] artonthewing.com

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Super Hero after my own heart!

I'm beginning to see a trend here in my blog to go trotting off following Becky around the internet... ah well, who cares?!! It's fun.

Today, it is Super Hero day... go visit The Hero Machine and build your own, it is sorta-but-not-really like having a Whataburger or a Whopper, sans all the calories.

Here's mine: Mz hoo-ha thang herself- "Who Valesque"


She's a little Mae West, a bit valkrie, has no body hair in strange places, is all about fixing injustice, and loves to wear butt-hugging tights to show off her super-hero-stuff. She is always armed with her sword and whip because she never knows when she might have to open up a little can of whoop-ass on the bad guys. Who keeps a special, high-tech, dual-purpose binocular around her neck, thus enabling her to make critical spur-of-the-moment bird identifications AND see through any man-made materials.

Who carries with her a little sparkle that she can throw at people, I am not sure exactly what the sparkle can do...but it does something REALLY cool. Actually, I would have preferred she carry a margarita instead of the sparkle, but it just wasn't an option.

Her faithful companion is none other than Bob, a trained attack owl Who saved from death by popping a construction worker with her whip just as the worker was about to bulldoze down the nest tree Bob and his clutchmates huddled together in. Of course, Who managed to stealthily snatch the owlettes from harms way and for it, the owlettes decided amongst themselves that Bob should repay Who for her heroic act by serving at her side in the fight against evil, unjustifiably righteous, stupid-in-a-mean-way, and/or environmentally abusive members of society.

and so it goes... :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mr. BeSilly...

... frankly, Is living up to his name by including dis here blog in his list of honorable patrons...

Thank you Mr. BeSilly and I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Violence, Guns, People

As is customary over in Becky's "Just a Girl in Short Shorts" blog... she hit on something that really sends me on an internal dialog trip with her post about American Violence.

Truly, guns are not the problem. A lack of accountability, tolerance, respect, and egocentrical-adults seem to be the underlying issue.

An example:
My father-in-law can recall bringing his rifle to school (as did other children in his class). They had to pass through woods (now Herman park in Houston) on the way to school and on the slight chance they might encounter potential dinner in the form of a rabbit or squirrel on the way home, they packed their rifles with them. When they arrived at school the rifles were stacked in a designated corner of the classroom. Despite the fact that many of them played army man games, and/or cowboy and Indians, or had family members narrate war stories, the children NEVER fathomed using their rifles for anything other than hunting game... Imagine that! The guns were stacked up RIGHT there in the classroom.

So what was the difference between their upbringing and now? Now we want to think that the mere presence of a weapon has the potential to take control of a human's ability to discern what should or should not be done with it! I don't like the Michael Moore message because it is yet another insideous way of removing accountability from the ONLY person actually accountable in any given situation... your own self.

It all boils down to EXPECTATIONS. What do we as parents actually expect out of our young children, what foundation do we build for them in their early years to be able to understand the need to tolerate differences, scrutinize oddities, understand their own accountability for their actions and interactions with other human beings?

For the most part we sculpt naturally-egocentric children into "it is all about me" adults by protecting them from the realities of how to get along in life.

One recent sort-of example was on the news last night. Parents of young children pay a dollar to put their lil' kids in a self-contained little-tykes-like shopping cart equipped with a TV and a movie. The parents were happy, kids were entertained - or at least distracted enough not to throw a fit. C'mon, what ever happened to "No" means "No"? What ever happened to, I am not fighting with you, I am the parent, you are not getting a prize for going to the store.. we are here to get food... there is really nothing to debate.

I don't recall anyone ever deciding it was a good thing my generation grew up plopped in front of a TV in the living room. So What do we do? We stick TVs in the kids bedroom, then in the car, and now in the freaking shopping carts.... hmmmm.

Then there is school. Why doesn't the bulk of American children respect getting an education? Could it be that instead of just teaching them the merits of having one, we give them prizes as they grow up... so instead of a child realizing that the education IS the prize, we pay them money for their A's and B's and sometimes even C's completely bypassing the real important part of the whole process... that is: We do many things in life because they are necessary and for no other reason at all.

Afterall, education is a gift to yourself, as well as a responsibility to yourself and society as a whole.

Hey! How about that deal where someone decided using a red pen to grade papers had such a negative impact on children that red pens are not allowed to be used... as if the red ink may just send little johnny over the deep end of despair and he will see no other path for himself other than bad grades, then a crime-spree or two, resulting in nothing less than life imprisonment... all because of red ink.

Why would we ever want to coddle our children this way and send them off into life so ill-prepared for reality?

We carefully craft (or should that be "nurture?") fragile people who have no ability to adjust their behavior to suit circumstances beyond their control, assess wrong from right or fact from fiction, nor tolerate what is different from their own worlds. Oh wait, we TELL the kids about these things but we don't expect them to live and learn the lessons at all. If our children do get themselves in the midst of one of these learning curve encounters the first thing we do as parents is jump in to intervene and look all around for an explaination of who's at fault.

How often do we simply stand back in the midst of whatever life-lesson has occurred and let the lesson of cause-and-effect sink in, or simply ask them: "Despite the unfairness in this instance, WHAT should YOU have done different to change the outcome? Do you realize at times you may have to accept the fact that you could not have changed the outcome at all? Never-the-less child, it is STILL very important you remain in control of yourself and behave appropriately in these situations."

Yet another little thing to factor into the recipe of producing ill-equipped adults... Childrens birthday parties where someone sees fit to always be sure everyone has SOMETHING - not just the birthday kid. Life is NOT like that, what good can come of raising a human to believe things should ALWAYS be distributed equitably? This should be true with siblings... just because this child REALLY needs a new outfit for the school music concert doesn't mean the other child should get something just to make it fair. At some point in their life each person will have to experience first-hand being THE one who goes without, or gets the unfair side of the deal... shit happens, that is life.

I don't know if any of this is coming out just right... it usually takes me a good many attempts at saying something before I can boil it down the the essence of a solidified point. But Thanks Becky for the thought-trajectory :)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

When I was a little kid in New York I saw the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It immediately became my favorite movie in the whole wide world and launched me off into countless happy hours playing with a little metal car my father had given me. The only thing the car actually had in common with the car in the movie was that it was an old-style chasis with working doors. My car was blue, red, and black, and it certainly did not have wings that popped out the sides.

It didn't matter that the car wasn't much like Chitty though. It was enough to fuel my imagination. I had a couple of little tiny dolls called Kiddles and they would happily ride around in my Chitty on a network of dirt roads carefully smoothed out of the yard by me, and like the movie, they would suddenly burst into flight, and perhaps a made up song that was a derivative of one of the songs from the movie.

I had never seen that movie again until last night. Gordy put it on NetFlix for me after a discussion about how fond I was of the movie as a kid.

Last night we gathered up a couple glasses of wine, piled up on the couch and started watching. Memories flooded back. Beginning with how much I wanted to believe Dad was Dick Van Dyke, which led to remembering how I thought Mary Tyler Moore was like my Mom... Focusing back on the movie Gordy and I laughed about how people back then could just suddenly hook-up and burst into song with everyone present knowing the tune and the words perfectly.. AMAZING!

I wasn't sure how I felt about seeing the movie after all. No disrespect meant to anyone, especially not Mr. Ian Flemming (although I suspect he could not really give a rats ass about what I think right now), but I could not even make it to the part where Chitty takes off flying into the air.

I went back to my dark corner feeling like I needed to apologize to the little kid in me... what a hopeless dork she was.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My blog has been the victim of a deliberate viral attack... You see, MZ BECKY, flaunter of short-shorts (as it should be), packing an insatiable thirst for beautiful women, as well as having some righteous thoughts on just about everything- has thrust a meme upon me.

How do you pronounce "meme?" Is it "meeem", "mee-mee", "meh-may" or what?

Oh well, cover me, I'm going in...

The reason I blog seems to evolve as time goes by, in fact, the reason changes on an hourly basis- I am sure of it. Considering the amount of thought this task would require, I decided last night to go straight home from work, pour myself a big ol' glass of cheap wine and commence to reflect upon (in my internal William Shatner:Captain Kirk voice):

Why.. DO... I. bloG?

Well there's the inherent "Look at me, I'm Sandra Deee!" factor... and that nonsense about "Maybe, just MAYBE I will write something smart, impress my friends and neighbors, AND get a SWEET offer to do a screenplay about my life from some famous movie producer person."

Oh, and lets not forget the whole, "I have a (pick one: buzz/attitude/menstrual attack/fullmoon) ISSUE and I'm brooding and need a place to vent" OR "Someone might see my art AND my words connected in such a way causing them to mistake me for being a great masterful artist"

Moving right along to even more reasons and yet another ample glass of wine...

"Because some how blogging has led me to cyberly meet some VERY talented, fun, thought-provoking, and wonderful people out in the blogsphere and I like connecting with them." AND...

"I want people to like me despite what rolls around in my head and spews forth from my hands." In other words, if someone can stomach the blather here and still want to hang out with me - cool!

Oh! and I can't deny what an invaluable resource this blog makes for trying to account for what I did the night before after having a dozen or more glasses of wine than I should have.

Speaking of, I'm feeling a little parched. Time for some more vino...

yep, and how about that "I blog therefore I AM" stuff.

That is about as far as I got last night before being startled as hubby-dearest nudged me to wake up and prodded me off to bed... right after wiping the drool from my keyboard.

Today in the harsh light of day, red-eyed, bleary, and with a gentle ache caressing my skull I have only one reason for blogging: So far, no one has stopped me. :)

NOW, to pass on this virulent act... tag! your it!

Warduck
Jane Doughnut

That's right, just the two of you singled out of the blogworld with a flashlight beaming in your faces... mwuahahahaaaaaa!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pvt. Tillman

Gordy and I are quite happy this morning because we received a call from G Jr. He had not been in Iraq very long before his company advanced to a new unsettled location about two weeks ago. We had not heard a word from him since. The call this morning was very brief and the connection was crappy. We are quite relieved to have heard his voice. He told us that he thinks he has a mailing address to give us and will send a letter today with the information.

When it rains it pours and today it is a good pour because the Virtual Family Readiness Group has sent out images of his company in Iraq.



The image I'm including is of their living quarters covered in dust from an afternoon sandstorm sometime just after they had set up in their new location.

Friday, April 13, 2007

HooHaaaa!


Well the scrumptious dawgs arrived about 2:30 this afternoon and less than an hour later they had disappeared down the gullets of those who remained late on this Friday afternoon. The package came with all the trimmings, including a proprietary blend of Portillis hot dog seasonings to sprinkle over the top. The relish was da bomb diggity, tomatoes were at their peak of perfection, onion was just right, pickles were great, and the poppy-seed buns were yummy too.

All I can say is these are in fact THE best hot dawgs I have ever eaten!

The order even came with my very own paper Portillos' short-order chefs hat to keep as a souvenir - and just like the instructions said, and much to my co workers amusement, I put the hat on and wore it while I cooked.

Harvey the Hurricane, control (NOT), and cats

Today was a day of diligence. I cleaned the Nubby Buddha and managed to change ALL their litter boxes, plus the inside litter boxes, and bir...